WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Navy SEAL who wrote an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden under a pseudonym was identified Thursday as Matt Bissonnette, who retired from the Navy last summer.
Bissonnette was first identified by Fox News. One current and one former U.S. military official confirmed the name, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military personnel matters.
The book, "No Easy Day," is scheduled to be released Sept. 11, with the author listed under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint, the publisher, asked news organizations Thursday to withhold his identity.
"Sharing the true story of his personal experience in `No Easy Day' is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security," said a statement by Christine Ball, Penguin Group spokeswoman. "That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym."
Special Operations Command spokesman Col. Tim Nye said the retired SEAL could be endangered by being identified, which could also expose those active-duty SEALs the author worked with in the killing of bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan last year.
The book and the author's name also come out during a time of debate over the possible damage to U.S. national security by leaks in the media about top secret operations. Yet the book also comes at a time when special operations forces are prominently featured in the media as never before, even as the elite organizations demand secrecy.
Slap on the wrist for Fox News right?